“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”
Friend, please listen. The highest doctrine for our faith is compassion. This is why God sent Jesus into the world. It was to change our hearts, to love our enemies, love the Samaritan, love those who are outsiders, love those who have never been invited into our circle. That’s what makes us believers, that he invited us into his circle so we invite others into ours.
It’s not about how you dance, or wear your makeup, or how you vote, or how you view creation, or how you view end times. The ridiculous things we use to make sure that people are outsiders and we are insiders makes God angry because they become substitutes for living a missional life, a life that lives for those who are beaten and broken down.
Most of us, when we read this, we think, I’ve never seen a man beaten and dying on the side of the road. I’ve never seen anyone bloodied. Yet, you see people beaten down and bloodied every day. They’re in the cubicle next to you. They’re in the car next to you in traffic. It’s that woman who just got a bad health report but nobody’s asked her about it and she doesn’t have the courage to ask for prayer. It’s the man who’s getting a divorce. Every day we interact with people that are beaten, bloodied, and dying. And we, in our desire to worship and be priestly and do all of these Christian things, walk around them.
Compassion and kindness is what honors God. You cannot be in a hurry and obey God at the same time. We must remember that God has called us, first and foremost, to love.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to spot those who are beaten down in heart and spirit. Show me how to be a healing force in their lives through your love. Amen.
Reflection: How have you seen God’s healing love transform a person from beaten down to released and healed?